Friday, March 30, 2007
We're probably as ready as we can be, too. The only question is timing. Iran has 15 hostages, and their safety has to be considered.
Gotta love Matt and Trey, the comedic geniuses on this era. I gotta introduce my nephews to the show sometime.
Might I suggest, "Yob tvoyu maht, Mahmoud"?
Wednesday, March 28, 2007
Tuesday, March 27, 2007
In the meantime, a former First Sea Lord , Alan West, stated:
The rules are very much de-escalatory, because we don't want wars starting.This, of course, begs the question "What if the other guy really, really wants a war?"
West went on, displaying a stunning grasp of the obvious:
So we try to downplay things. Rather then roaring into action and sinking everything in sight we try to step back and that, of course, is why our chaps were effectively able to be captured and taken away . . . If we find this is going to be a standard practice we need to think very carefully about what rules of engagement we want and how we operate. One can't allow as a standard practice nations to capture a nation's servicemen. That is clearly wrong.
The answer to West's conundrum, IMNHO, can be found by answering the following question:
What Would Jack Aubrey Do?
The first episodes are at the bottom of the page. Work your way up. They can also be downloaded, but the format only reliably works with Quicktime.
That said, it is worth the frustration. These are excellent shows.
Monday, March 26, 2007
Sunday, March 25, 2007
The Democrats want the US to withdraw from Iraq.
al-Qaeda wants the US to withdraw from Iraq.
This means that either al-Qaeda is an ally of the United States, or that the Democrats are . . .
(The final clause of the above sentence is left as an exercise for the reader.)
Thursday, March 22, 2007
The latter, quite frankly, does not sound good. My condolences and prayers go out to Cindy Seipp's family. My prayers are with Mrs. Edwards.
Wednesday, March 21, 2007
I'm going to vent a little. On the right, there has been a streak of Putin Derangement Syndrome, in which he has been taken to task constantly. Never mind the fact that the sales to Iran really did little to make them more dangerous (China, by providing C-802 missiles, and North Korea, which sold ballistic misiles, probably have done more for Iran). A lot of them forgot that the Cold War ended in 1991, and we won.
The fact is, we have big fish to fry, to wit, the war on Islamofacism. A key ally in this is going to be Russia. They not only have better HUMINT capabilities than the United States does, we can also get their help in other areas (like cutting off spare parts to countries like Syria, Sudan, and Iran).
In this case, Putin has come through for us. He also managed to help the Russians make a fair bit of cash off this. It was played very well, and it is safe to assume that we probably got a fair bit of intelligence as well.
There's a lesson to be learned in this. Jumping to conclusions and demanding purity are good ways to lose friends. Putin might not be an angel, but he's not hostile towards us. There's no need to pick fights with him.
This has become typical of conservatives, and some are more guilty of this than others. When Tom DeLay became the subject of a politically-motivated indictment by a prosecutor who had a track record of such cases (including targeting a Republican senator who had won a special election), he was thrown overboard. In essence, the Democrats got a lot from this. One of the best GOP strategists was taken off the board for the foreseeable future, and they managed to reinforce the notion that the GOP was corrupt through allegations.
They were attacking Gonzales because they got DeLay. They went after DeLay because they got away with their frivolous charges against Newt Gingrich.
And of course, people also noted how quickly DeLay was tossed overboard. They became less likely to stick their necks out for the GOP.
The only folks who gained any benefits were the Democrats. Loyalty matters, folks.
Tuesday, March 20, 2007
Jacoby's got a valid point. We're in very high emplyoment. We're short of labor, and we can either choose inflation, or getting more folks to work. He's made a great point about the class warfare being waged as well.
For soem people, this is about forcing business to redistribute its money in a manner favored by the folks makign the demands. They cloak their comments in platitudes about the "rule of law", yet at the same time, they have no inclination to change the law at all.
Never mind that he is the best offensive option available at third base, and led the majors in homers and RBIs in the Cactus League. Despite missing a week when his elbow was sore (mostly as a precaution).
The NL Central is a place where every win counts. The Brewers are making a bad call here.
Monday, March 19, 2007
Not smart, but to be expected, given the comments Ahmadinejad has made.
Hank Williams, Jr., once did a song called "Don't Give Us A Reason". Methinks a version with changed lyrics would be timely.
Friday, March 16, 2007
His thoughts are put far better than I can about the folks who cry "rule of law" in opposition to the President. In essence, when there are terrorists trying to kill us, it makes no sense to go after janitors, nannies, and landscapers.
Of course, some people might ask where I left my principles, or they will think that because they are standing on principle, they are above any criticism. I think there may be plenty to criticize on their part. Their ability to set priorities, for starters, followed closely by their sense of proportion.
Thursday, March 15, 2007
He correctly notes that Bush has doen a lot more for conservatism than Reagan has. His thanks was to be pilloried by self-appointed commissars, and it turned a lot of moderates off while convincing enough conservatives to sit 2006 out to "teach the GOP a lesson".
As such, the candidates of choice for the commissars are way behind the pack. The three major contenders are Rudy Giuliani, arguably to the left of 95% of the GOP on social issues; John McCain, who has routinely poked the hard right in the eye; and Mitt Romney, a recent convert. Irish Pennants also talks about this apparent shift by rank-and-file Republicans.
When they piled on good people who were willing to serve their country like Colin Powell, Harriet Miers, Julie Myers, and even President Bush, and got the Congressional GOP to go along, they ticked off a lot of people. They literally banked that a focus on social conservatism could bring home 2006.
They failed, and now they must pay the price for that failure. Unlike those who failed Ernst Salvo Blofeld, they will not be dumped into a pond full of piranhas or blown away by a semiautomatic pistol. Instead, the GOP will make it very clear that their issues are no longer on the front burner.
At the same time, we have the Democrats trying to force a timetable for withdrawl from there. In essence, they want to throw away the victory that our troops have won on the battlefield.
While Iraq is the military campaign in the headlines, the decisive battle in the war on terror is going to be fought here in the United States. We can project our power and more than hold our own against the thugs of al-Qaeda and other terrorist groups. But the media and the politicians can throw away that hard work.
In essence, if the Demcorats are unable to make a timetable stick, the U.S. will win. If they can force a timetable, then the war on terror is in serious jeopardy.
Wednesday, March 14, 2007
It's worth noting that these investigations were going on. Perhaps Gonzales was getting close to some REAL leakers who had doen REAL damage.
In essence, I am one of those deemed "impure" by a bunch of self-appointed commissars, which included Laura Ingraham, as well as some folks online. I have stopped posting/participating outside occasional lurking at two major forums, largely because I have gotten sick of demands for conformity.
The commissars are about to get checkmated by the Republican party. They will try to make things nasty, but the Democrats have their fringes, too. And while the GOP is busy checkmating their fringe elements, the Democrats defer to them (see the Nevada forum fuss).
The right had its chance to be the senior partner in the center-right coalition. They blew it by showing a piss-poor sense of priorities and atrocious judgement. Now, the center will be the senior partner.
Back when she first made that crack, it was worth a chuckle. But now she's asking the American people to elect her to the highest office in the land. And so we need to look at whether or not she is the right person for the job.
Comments like "vast right-wing conspiracy" make me very worried. She may decide that this conspiracy needs to be dealt with. In one sense, she is going to make the GOP's job easier in 2008. In another, it could become very ugly.
Tuesday, March 13, 2007
The contrast cannot be clearer at this point. Petraeus is succeeding, meanwhile, the Democrats want to pull the rug out from under him.
This will not go over well. Maybe they could get away with it when there were just the big three networks. But there are a lot of other players... and they can get stuff out.
It gets even more likely, because thay have stripped the Iran provisions from the bill.
This could be fun to watch.
Monday, March 12, 2007
1. The social conservative wing of the GOP pretty much called the shots from 2005-2006, and the GOP lost Congress. Ernst Stavro Blofeld said in You Only Live Twice, "This organization does not tolerate failure." What is more intolerable is when those who led them to failure demand that they do the same thing as the last time, only taking a harder line.
2. People already have an idea about this, or they have decided that his positions on social issues are far less important than his ability to fight and win the war on terror. In essence, the hard-core Giuliani-haters are making the wrong argument.
3. The method being used by some of the hard-core Giuliani critics is going to turn people off. By labeling Giuliani's supporter's sell-outs, and implying a lack of principle, they're only going to cause Giuliani's supporters to close ranks. Mitt Romney's approach of stating his own views will work much better.
But can Romney overcome Giuliani's huge lead? It is possible. He does have the kind of organization that can help him win Iowa and make a very good showing in New Hampshire. He also has proven he can raise money, and a lot of Jeb Bush's people are with him, giving him an edge in Florida.
The race is really between Romney and Giuliani. Either way it turns out, the GOP will have nominated a good candidate.
The critics who panned it have got to be eating some crow.
Friday, March 09, 2007
Thursday, March 08, 2007
Wednesday, March 07, 2007
Of course, there are those who seem all too willing to blame Vladimir Putin for anything not to their liking - or any journalist who gets hurt or killed. It is not on par with Bush Derangement Syndrome, but when there are real bad guys out there, nagging Putin just doesn't make sense.
Tuesday, March 06, 2007
The moose found out the hard way that choppers are not good things to charge. Hopefully, the chopper pilot learned to climb out of the moose's effective range.
There are two things about this whole trial that really are bad for the country.
1. The way that Patrick Fitzgerald went rogue. There was no crime. The identity of the leaker was known before he even was named as special prosecutor.
2. The fact that people are looking at this and ruling out a career in public service. Why get involved when this sort of thing will happen? There is far less hassle and far more pay in the private sector.
The decline of American shipbuilding is a serious matter. We're not talking about pizza pans or some consumer product to make life easier. Here, we are talking about the ships that makes the seas safe for the merchant vessels that carry out trade, some American, some from other countries.
That said, we do need to ask some hard questions of the Clinton Administration. Why did they set things on a path so that there was no choice but to retire dozens of Perry-class frigates, Spruance-class destroyers, and even some Los Angeles-class attack submarines? Why were some of the upgrades to the F-14 Tomcat never made? Why were so many production lines allowed to stop and vanish forever into history?
One of Rumsfeld's biggest mistakes was letting some of this continue. In some cases, it got worse with such things as down-grading the armament on those Perry-class frigates we were keeping. Quite frankly, given thehole he was in, he probably deserves credit for accomplishing all he did.
One thing should be clear in all of this: Elect a Democrat as President, and you get a hollow military that will take time to rebuild. Time that you may not have, as we leanred on September 11, 2001.
Monday, March 05, 2007
Giuliani fielded the question himself, and gave a good answer. McCain sent out a flunky to do his talking. That sort of thing speaks volumes to me. Giuliani, for whatever else you can say about him, seems to be a stand-up guy who doesn't mince words. McCain, on the other hand, has had some great moments, and served this country in a heroic fashion, but he also seems to have an ego, an inability to get off his high horse, and a tendency to hold double standards.
That's why 2008 will boil downto Romney-vs.-Giuliani, and why McCain will be an also-ran again.
A lot of what is said is on target, some of it isn't. In some cases the Republican "base" was wrong, particularly on immigration. They also grossly mishandled the entire Terri Schiavo situation at best, and their treatment of Harriet Miers was disgusting. On the Miers matter and the immigration issue, McCain was on the right side. But that won't make up for McCain-Feingold and his 2000 comments.
Friday, March 02, 2007
Last year it was “raghead.” This year it’s calling John Edwards a “faggot.” Two years in a row, Coulter has finished up an otherwise sharp CPAC routine with an obnoxious slur that liberals will fling at conservatives for years to come.
For some reason, Ann Coulter cannot exercise a minimal amount of civility. She jokes about assassinating Senators. She thinks that throwing grenades at Congressmen is funny. She thinks that the "Jersey Girls" are enjoying (her word) the deaths of their husbands. She has "joked" about assassinating a Supreme Court Justice. When asked whether she regretted a "joke" about how Timothy McVeigh should've bombed the New York Times building, she said:
Of course I regret it. I should have added, "after everyone had left the building except the editors and reporters."
Ann, you want more attention, eat a couple of cheeseburgers, get yourself some bigger boobs, and go pose for Playboy. You'll up your perceived intelligence. The late Anna Nicole Smith looked like a freakin' GENIUS next to you.
But at least this time, we don't need to go to THREATCON Ernie or Elmo:
Nearly beat out an infield single
The Brewers ought to name him the starting third baseman now. Forget this Graffanino/Counsell platoon nonsense.
"I believe that is one of the principal reasons why political leaders around the world have not yet taken action," Gore said. "There are many reasons, but one of the principal reasons in my view is more than half of the mainstream media have rejected the scientific consensus implicitly — and I say 'rejected,' perhaps it's the wrong word. They have failed to report that it is the consensus and instead have chosen … balance as bias."
My inclination/response is to quote Michael Crichton's essay at the end of State of Fear, a superb book.
Now we are engaged in a great new theory that once again has drawn the support of politicians, scientists, and celebrities around the world. Once again, the theory is promoted by major foundations. Once again, the research is carried out at prestigious universities. Once again, legislation is passed and social programs are urged in its name. Once again, critics are few and harshly dealt with.
Once again, the measures being urged have little basis in fact or science. Once again, groups with other agendas are hiding behind a movement that appears high-minded. Once again, claims of moral superiority are used to justify extreme actions. Once again, the fact that some people are hurt is shrugged off because an abstract cause is said to be greater than any human consequences. Once again, vague terms like sustainability and generational justice --- terms that have no agreed definition --- are employed in the service of a new crisis.
I am not arguing that global warming is the same as eugenics. But the similarities are not superficial. And I do claim that open and frank discussion of the data, and of the issues, is being suppressed. Leading scientific journals have taken strong editorial positions of the side of global warming, which, I argue, they have no business doing.
Judge for yourself. Is Al Gore trying to advance the debate about climate change, or is he trying to suppress debate?
Thursday, March 01, 2007
This pattern has become quite common since 2004. First it was the Koran-flushing incident. Then there were the claims of torture at Gitmo made by Senator Durbin - those didn't have any basis in fact, either. Then, there were the doctored photos bought by Reuters, and the discovery that Hezbollah was staging photos. Then Jemil Hussein, and an air strike that did not happen.
Can you see the pattern? And it gets worse. Editors of one magazine edited a story about the 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment's efforts in Anbar because it made the American troops look "too heroic". No, that was not a misquote.
The media seems to have taken sides, and has deemed the military personnel fighting for the United States as the bad guys.
They had their chance to pass a good immigration bill in 2006. Instead, the Republicans in the House decided to take their ball and go home, acting like petulant children rather than do the adult thing and compromise with a Senate that rejected an enforcement-only bill. Those who backed the Senate bill were labeled, among other things, as supporting treachery.
Conservatives played a slash-and-burn game on immigration, and the Republicans lost the 2006 midterms. They made their bed. Now, refusing to even acknowledge that their "all or nothing" approach led to a defeat, they demand the GOP stop the bill. Already, the RNC had told the College Republicans to stop their "catch an illegal" games.
Sometimes a "base" can be wrong. When that is the case, a responsible leader steps up to the plate. Mel Martinez, George W. Bush, and others are doing that with the GOP. They deserve to be commended for their courage. It takes a lot to tell your friends that they are on the wrong track.
Not bad. You can do well for yourself by doing good. Matt White will recoup his initial investment with just the first 100 tons from that quarry on his land.